Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pumpkin Hazelnut Gelato - a Recipe


Ok fine. If autumn won’t come to New York, I’ll bring New York to autumn! I hope, hope that the thunderstorm we had last night means the 80-degree weather is finally over – I so desperately want to pull on a cozy sweater and braise lamb shanks or something. But as summer’s refusal to end this year has shown, nothing is certain.

In the past weeks – the growing mounds of pears and pumpkins at the market ever more a mockery in this heat – I’ve had to find new, cooling ways to enjoy autumn’s flavors. And this gelato has become our gold standard. The fresh sweetness of the pumpkin and the heady fragrance and earthiness of in-season hazelnuts revive us after dinner as we wait for the temperatures to drop so we can slip out for a furtive nighttime walk up and down Manhattan.

I love gelato because it tends to be less sweet than other frozen desserts, which I think helps the flavors of fresh produce and seasonings shine through. Gelato’s often thickened with agents other than eggs – rice is popular, and here the puréed pumpkin lends the egg yolks a hand. And it’s usually served slightly warmer than ice cream. In fact in Italy, gelato is sort of spackled into cones and dishes with a spatula rather than a rounded scoop. I tell you this so you don’t feel quite so guilty if you find yourself munching straight out of the ice cream maker before your gelato has had time to prove in the freezer. Just tell yourself you’re being authentic – it’s not stricty true, but it works for me!


Makes approximately 1 quart

1 2 ½ - 3 lb pumpkin
1 ½ cups hazelnuts
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp kosher salt
5 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and discard. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side up, in a roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Set aside to cool.

Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and puree in a food processor until smooth. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Put the pumpkin puree into the sieve and let excess water drain off for at least an hour. (You can also cover with plastic wrap and drain in the fridge overnight).

When ready to continue, reheat the oven to 350 F. Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Stir them and then bake for 5 minutes more. Set aside to cool. Rub them between your hands to remove as many of the skins as possible. Pulse in a food processor until chopped fine.

In a medium saucepan, warm the cream, sugars, ginger, nutmeg, and salt over low heat, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Do not allow to bubble or boil. Once warm, turn off the heat and stir in the hazelnuts. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.

Pour the cream through a sieve into a medium saucepan and press down on the hazelnuts to extract as much liquid as possible. Warm the flavored cream again over low heat and meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

Once the cream is warm, pour a little into the egg yolk and whisk well. Add a little more at a time, whisking continuously, until the two are combined. Pour back into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat.

Cook, stirring continuously with a heat-proof spatula and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, pour through the sieve back into the bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of the drained pumpkin purée until well combined – be careful not to whisk in too much air here.

Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, pressing down the plastic until it just touches the surface of the custard – to avoid letting a skin form - and chill thoroughly in the fridge. Freeze in your ice cream maker, following the manufacturers instructions. Store in an air-tight, freezer-safe container, and let sit out for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

29 comments:

Gloria said...

Really, sooooo delicious Amanda, we like ice cream at my family, wonderful recipe, thanks, Gloria

farmgirl susan said...

Oh Amanda, this sounds fantastic. And what timing. We just got home from running around town, and although there's no farmers' market whatsoever around here, this year I've managed to ferret out some locally grown goodies to offset what we produce here on the farm. Today I bought two beautiful pie pumpkins--at the library of all places! One of the ladies who works there grew them and brought them in to sell as a fundraiser; they're trying to raise money to buy holiday books. I was so thrilled and almost bought a third but there were only a few, and I figured I should leave some for another person who will no doubt be just as tickled as I was to happen upon them. Mine are looking mighty autumnal on the front step right now, but I suddenly have a hankering for gelato. We may have to sacrifice them well before Halloween! Thanks, as always, for yet another beautiful post and recipe. xo

Figs Olives Wine said...

Gloria, thank you. I'm so pleased that you like the recipe. Hope you guys enjoy it!

Susan, thank you!! I'm so glad you like the sound of the gelato, and I'm extremely impressed by your restraint at the library today! You're such a good neighbor. Let me know if you make the gelato - I'd love to know how you like it! xo

winedeb said...

I have been thinking about gelato for quite awhile now. I have only had it once, that's all it took! I love the stuff but cannot get it anyhwhere down here. In fact when I was in Ohio this past summer, I could not even find it there! So I will use your recipe and try it on my own! Sounds great. Do you think I could use canned pumpkin?

Peter M said...

Great gelato...it will be remebered as the september summer of '07...great excuse to eat more ice cream!

Michael said...

I am a huge gelato fan, and this flavor looks to be a new classic. Great recipe.

Becca said...

Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe ... two of my favorite flavors combined.

Kevin said...

This sounds so good. I would never have thought to use pumpkin in a frozen desert.

Anh said...

This is an unique combo for me. I will try it for sure!

Wendy said...

Had to read this title twice as it sounds so very unusual! I really have to get an ice-cream maker now. :)
Funny to hear how hot NY still. We've been having a cold, bright, colourful autumn since the beginning of September. It's lovely but I'd be happy to trade a couple of days of your weather...

Figs Olives Wine said...

Winedeb, isn't gelato heavenly? I think you could definitely use canned pumpkin here! The flavor will be less fresh and slightly more wintery, but I think it should still be good. Just be sure to drain the canned pumpkin as I describe for the fresh purée. Let me know how it goes.

Peter M, way to put a positive spin on it! Good man. The september summer is right! Maybe I'll just up my ice cream intake until things cool off!

Michael, thank you! If you're a big gelato fan, then do let me know if you make this! It's certainly alreday a classic in our house!

Becca, you're most welcome! They're 2 of my favorites too - hazelnut anything is my favorite! And I really crave pumpkin this time of year. I hope you enjoy the gelato.

Kevin, thank you! It is a little unusual, I admit, but we love it around here. Let me know how you like the gelato if you have a chance to make it!

Anh, that's great! Let me know how it goes - really hope you enjoy the gelato.

Wendy, I know it's just beautiful over there right now. Grrr. We were trying to get back to Fife this autumn, but it looks like scheduling isn't going to work. My parents are headed over tomorrow for 2 weeks to see family/ friends, and I am positively green with envy. You're autumn sounds picture perfect - you must enjoy it on my behalf too, you lucky thing. I reckon you deserve it after your wet summer!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I am so done with this "summer in the fall" weather! Things finally broke here in MI - I hope NYC will follow suit. Lovely recipe! I'm excited to try it this weekend.

Jan said...

Beautiful photos!

sognatrice said...

This. Looks. Fabulous.

All these great ice cream recipes really make a girl want to put an ice cream maker on her wishlist....

Figs Olives Wine said...

Jen, how wonderful. The weather I welcome in June is so uncomfortable in October! I'm just dying to feel that nip in the air! Oh well, soon enough. So glad you like the gelato. Let me know if you try it!

Jan, thank so much! I'm so glad you like!

Sognatrice, thank you! I didn't really do ice cream this summer - I think I was satisfied with reading everyone else's interpretations of David's fabulous book. But now that the season is over, I've been doing it again.

Joanne Rendell said...

i know, the weather has been ridiculous. bring on some british style rain and mist, i say. oh and please save me some of this gelato. please!

Garrett said...

Yum. Pumpkin gelato? Yes please!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amanda, this is wonderful! It's very hot today here in Sao Paulo and that gelato would be great!

Anonymous said...

delicious. i'm dying to try this recipe.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Jo, we have some in the fridge right now!!! It's too, too ironic that the UK's having a gorgeous, crisp, colorful autumn. I'm so jealous! But I'd take the mist too!

Garrett, thanks! I'm so glad you like!

Patricia, welcome back! I'll bet it's boiling in Sao Paulo!! Gelato seems the only civilized thing to do!

Anonymous, thank you! I'm so pleased you like the gelato! You should give it a go - let me know if you do.

Maryann@FindingLaDolceVita said...

It's been down right chilly up here. Dark and rainy too. Are you sure we live in the same state? I mean you're only 100 miles away! haha The pumpkin gelato sounds wonderful.

Truffle said...

What a fantastic combination and great idea. I just love the flavours you've incorporated.

Mercedes said...

Considering I had to pull on a sweater this morning, I think you finally got your weather wish. This sounds like an excellent ice cream- I really love ice creams with infused nuts- you get great flavor with smooth texture.

Ilva said...

This is really interesting, Pumpkin must be perfect as ice cream!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Maryann, hehehe. We had rain last night! Hallelujah! So glad you like the gelato.

Truffle, thank you so much! I'm really glad you like - it's a combo I enjoy too.

Mercedes, I had a sweater on early this morning too! And it poured last night - I am in bliss. And I agree about the nuts in ice cream - you can get such depth of flavor.

Ilva, thank you! I admit it's a bit unusual, but the freshness is something I really enjoy - hope you have the chance to try it.

Sarah McColl said...

it has been so hot in ny, that this really is such a great way to get a cool shot of fall flavor. so creative!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Sarah, thanks so much! What do you think? Is the heat over? I'm so scared to relax in case it all comes back again. Ugh.

greatbigvegchallenge said...

Wow, wow, wow Amanda. Now this looks fantastic.
You can come over to London where it hsa been autumnal and make pumpkin icecream for us!
Charlotte and Freddie

Figs Olives Wine said...

Charlotte & Freddie, thank you! I can't describe how much I'd like to come to London right now! My Mum and Dad just flew out for 2 weeks visiting family and friends over there, and I'm green with envy. I happily can report, however, that we went for a walk last night and it was 52 F! Positively brisk. I wore a sweater AND a jacket, and I was in sheer heaven.

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